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An amazing part of working in Young Ameritowne and International Towne is to see the kids really understand how Towne works. You’ll see quotes in the paper like “being an adult is hard” or “it’s hard to manage my money.” But every once in a while, there are some kids who truly realize the potential of Young Ameritowne and International Towne and demonstrate “out of the box thinking.”
There are countless opportunities in YAT and IT for students to use creativity to solve marketing problems, work together efficiently, or even type fake documents creating detailed conflicts between countries. In addition to being an excellent educational experience, Young Ameritowne and International Towne are amazing resources to help kids explore their creativity and use entrepreneurship.
The following are three examples that which illustrate some creative out of the box thinking. They all take place in International Towne.
- In Panama, the main source of revenue comes from a Delivery Service fee, but they also sell beach balls. Sometimes beach balls have low demand, causing the students to lower their prices instead of advertise more, but this means the country doesn’t make a profit. One week, the president of Panama decided to blow up all the beach balls and have the teachers autograph them with sharpies. This created high demand allowing the Panamanians to double the price and increase their profit!
- Recently, A story was recently published by the newspaper in the United Kingdom titled “Lice Chair in India.” A student made up a story that a chair in India was infected with lice, which of course was not true. The citizens of India saw the story and became outraged by the slanderous lies! They tried to sue the United Kingdom at the International Court located in the Netherlands. The Netherlands ruled that the United Kingdom had to pay India a small sum of their money.
- A couple weeks ago, I was assisting in Canada and came across a folder that said “Top Secret.” A student, the president of Canada, typed up different incredibly detailed scenarios titled “Peace Treaty between Egypt and Canada” The documents detailed an attack on Canada by Panama and called for help from neighboring countries. During Towne, he proceeded to hand them out to the presidents of Panama, Egypt, and the Netherlands creating a mock war between the countries. Since International Towne now incorporates an International Dilemma into the events of the day, we decided to use this conflict as our dilemma.
Overall, it’s really wonderful to see the students bring their own ideas to Towne and do things that we don’t typically see every day. Having teachers autograph beach balls demonstrates the potential for unique entrepreneurial ideas; suing the United Kingdom for slander shows how connected to town the students can be and how much they grow to care about their own country; and finally, taking the time at home to create mock war documents is an amazing opportunity to go above and beyond the economic and financial lessons we are trying to teach in IT. Let’s keep encouraging kids to be creative and think outside the box!